What to Know
- An experienced, English-speaking local Peregrine leader and specialist local guides at some sites
- Authentic Accommodation includes: 6 nights basic hotel, 17 nights comfortable hotel, 4 nights sleeper train, 3 nights homestay, 2 nights guesthouse, 5 nights yurt tent (multi-share)
- Central Asian homestays in rural Kyrgyzstan and the Nuratau Mountains, yurt stays in the mountains and desert
- Meals: 34 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 10 dinners
- Arrival transfer
- Flights from Urumqi to Kashgar, Bishkek to Tashkent and Tashkent to Urgench (Khiva)
- Sightseeing and entrance fees as per itinerary: including Temple of Heaven, Fobidden City, Terracotta Warriors, City tours of Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent & Khiva
- Stunning desert and mountain landscapes in China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan
- Walk the Great Wall at Mutianyu and Jiayuguan
- Tashkent to Urgench (Khiva) flight
- Visa support for China & Uzbekistan
- International flights
- Airport departure taxes
- Departure transfer
- Meals unless specified in the itinerary
- Laundry - may be available at locations where we stay two or more nights
- Optional tours or activities during free time
- Tips - this is something to consider, and it might be worthwhile speaking to your group about making a group contribution at the end of the trip
- Sleeping sheets or bags (optional)
China is a safe country to travel in and very few travellers will experience any safety concerns. Serious crime against foreigners is relatively rare, but incidents do occur. Foreigners can be targeted for passports, laptops, mobile phones, purses and handbags. Major tourist sites and areas frequented by foreigners attract thieves and pickpockets. Take extra care at major tourist sites, street markets, Beijing International Airport, major international events and conferences and popular bar areas after dark.
There are occasional incidents with taxi and pedicab drivers who insist the passenger misunderstood the fare. Avoid travelling in unmarked or unmetered ‘taxis’ and insist on paying only the meter fare. Ask the driver for a receipt (fapiao), on which the taxi number should be printed. You can take this to the police to lodge a complaint.
Counterfeit bank notes (especially RMB100) are increasingly common. They are generally crumpled to avoid detection. Unscrupulous traders may try to switch your genuine bank notes for counterfeits. Check carefully before accepting notes. It is quite normal to do so.
Beware of scams particularly in popular tourist areas. A regular example is the ‘tea tasting’ scam. Scams usually involve a foreign national being invited to visit a bar, shop or cafe – for example to practice English or meet a girl - but results in demands for an exorbitant fee, often payable by credit card. This can result in threats of violence or credit card fraud.
Fire protection standards in Chinese accommodation are not always the same as at home. Check fire precautions including access to fire exits.
Few travellers will experience any safety issues in Kyrgyzstan if general precautions are followed. Take care if you go out after dark. Keep large amounts of money hidden at all times and be wary of strangers offering help or being over-friendly. Be particularly aware of your surroundings when using currency exchange offices. There have been reports of thefts carried out by uniformed police officers and gangs. Avoid walking alone at night and don’t travel in unofficial taxis. Avoid using local buses and mini-buses as they are not always properly maintained and are notorious for pick-pockets. Demonstrations on political and socio-economic themes occur both in central Bishkek and in other parts of the country. You should avoid all demonstrations.
Uzbekistan is generally a very safe place to travel. Policemen, or sometimes those pretending to be policemen, may seek to impose an on-the-spot fine. If you are any doubt you should ask for an ID or pay any fines at the nearest police station. Keep valuables out of sight and avoid unlit or remote areas. Avoid obvious displays of wealth, especially in rural areas. Avoid walking alone at night.